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Queen Elizabeth stands down as All England Club patron

FILE PHOTO : Britain's Queen Elizabeth takes part in the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Westminster, central London, Britain November 13, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
FILE PHOTO : Britain's Queen Elizabeth takes part in the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Westminster, central London, Britain November 13, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth has relinquished her role as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), home of the Wimbledon championships, after 64 years and will be replaced by The Duchess of Cambridge, a statement from the club said on Tuesday.

The long-serving British monarch, who turned 90 in April, memorably presented the Venus Rosewater Dish trophy to home favourite Virginia Wade after she won the women's singles title in 1977, the Queen's Silver Jubilee year.

She did not return until 2010 when British player Andy Murray bowed three times in front of Centre Court's Royal Box after speculation that the patriotic Scot would not do so.

"I only saw a replay of the second one when I was warming down. It looked a little bit awkward, but I am not used to doing it," Murray said at the time.

On that occasion the Queen also chatted to a selection of former champions including Roger Federer and Venus and Serena Williams.

"We would like to thank Her Majesty for her long and unwavering service to The Club and The Championships during her time as our Patron," AELTC chairman Philip Brook said.

"It was a great honour to welcome Her Majesty to Wimbledon in 2010 and we remain immensely proud of her role in the history of The Club and The Championships."

The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be a keen tennis fan and she cheered on Murray from the Royal Box this year as he beat Canada's Milos Raonic to win his second Wimbledon title, having missed his 2013 triumph.

Buckingham Palace also confirmed that the Queen was standing down as patron of the Lawn Tennis Association and the Rugby Football Union.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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